Luke Lavine and Taylor Shirley found their way at Auburn Mountainview High School.
For the standout students, it’s been a great ride, wonderfully worthwhile and challenging, a maturation process with the help of influential faculty and caring staff.
“Coming into my freshman year, I was really awkward, shy and quiet, but over the past four years I really opened up and gained a lot of confidence,” said Lavine, who is bound for Washington State University to study computer science in the fall.
“I feel a lot more comfortable because of the environment that we have here,” Lavine said. “I’ve had a lot of great teachers who helped guide me. … They taught me a lot.”
High school also brought out the best in Shirley, who plans to attend Arizona State University to study business communication in the fall.
“I felt like I left my legacy here,” she said. “I did what I wanted to do while I was here. I got to the point where I was well respected by my peers and my teachers. I got involved in ways I wanted to.”
Lavine and Shirley represent two of the very best in Auburn Mountainview’s class of 2015. Commencement ceremonies begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
Lavine, son of Angie and David Lavine, excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.9 grade point average in accelerated course work, and in the pool as a four-year varsity swimmer who finished fourth in the state 3A 100-meter freestyle final last season.
A lifeguard, Lavine teaches swim lessons.
He also blossomed as a leader, working in student government and as a mentor for the Lion Crew program.
Strong in match and science, Lavine naturally became interested in computers, where he understands and speaks its complex language.
One day he hopes to bring a good tech idea to a small startup company.
The technology trade exhibits his sound, problem-solving skills.
“It’s trying things over and over until they work,” he said.
A well organized and resourceful leader, Shirley enjoyed her multifaceted role in representing students and the school. Shirley, daughter of Chris and Dan Shirley, is a 4.0 student who shone in student government, DECA and Lion Crew. She played four seasons of soccer, the last two on varsity, was named homecoming queen and helped organize and volunteer for many school and community functions.
Those business and organizational opportunities will serve her well as she pursues a career. She might one day become an event planner.
“Personally, I have a good vision for how I want things to look, and to look good. I want to bring that to other people and to help them,” she said.
Shirley appreciates what the school has done for her.
“I have had great mentors who really helped me get to where I am today,” she said.